1805

Born in Kroppenstaedt, Prussia, on 27th September...

... George Müller was born in this house in the Prussian village of Kroppenstaedt, which is now in Germany.

1819

George Muller's mother died...

...On the night she died, George Müller aged 14, was out with his friends playing cards at a tavern, and spent much of the next day drinking, unaware of his mother’s death.

1821

Imprisoned for not paying his hotel bills...

... At the age of only 16, George Müller spent five weeks in prison for non-payment of hotel bills. He was released only when his Father had sent the money needed to settle the dept.

1825

Enrols at Halle University to study Theology...

... This was at his father’s urging, not for the reason of serving God, but to secure a comfortable lifestyle. It was a career move, as upon graduating, it would secure George a job as a clergyman with a good salary. Whilst at university, George arranged a trip to Switzerland with his friends. They obtained their passports using letters from their parents, which George forged, and sold books and possessions to make the trip. None of George’s friends realised that their friend, whom they had trusted to arrange the trip and given their money to, had in fact not paid his fair share, charging his friends more so he didn’t have to pay as much.

1825

His friend Beta took him to a Bible study at Herr Wagner’s home...

... George Müller became a Christian following this encounter exclaiming “all we had seen on our journey to Switzerland and all our former pleasures are as nothing in comparison with this evening”.

1826

Decided to become a missionary...

Having stopped his sinful behaviour of drinking, gambling and stealing, George decided he wanted to devote his time to sharing with others about his Christian faith. His father was very upset as this was seen to be throwing away the opportunity of a good career. George felt he could no longer accept his father’s money and he prayed about his need of funds. His prayer was answered when one of the lecturers approached him about teaching four Americans who would pay him to teach them to read and speak German.

George Muller also lived for two months in free lodgings in an Orphan-House, which was built in dependence on God, by AH Franke. Here a seed was sown for the future.

1829

Moved to London to train for missionary work after graduation from Halle...

George moved to London, after being cleared from compulsory military duty, to train for missionary work amongst the Jews. However, he became ill and went to Teignmouth, Devon, for rest where he formed a friendship with Henry Craik. This developed into a life-long friendship, and under God’s guidance they formed a spiritual partnership in the Gospel and in children’s work.

George Müller left London permanently in 1829. He returned to Devon and was invited to be the minister of Ebenezer Chapel. Find out more...

1830

Married
Mary Groves...

... George Müller and Mary Groves married on 7th October 1830. At the end of October, George renounced his regular salary, believing that the practice could lead to church members giving out of duty, not desire. He also eliminated the renting of church pews, arguing that it gave unfair prestige to the rich, based primarily on the bible verses James 2:1–9.

1832

George and Mary moved to Bristol with Henry Craik to be pastors of two local churches...

...For eight years they pastored two Christian churches, Gideon chapel and Bethesda Chapel, after which time they focused solely on Bethesda Chapel. George Müller continued preaching and leading there until his death, even while devoted to his other ministries. Find out more...

1834

Founded the Scriptural Knowledge Institution...

... The Scriptural Knowledge Institution (SKI) was founded in 1834 by George Müller and his close friend, Henry Craik, to: support missionaries at home and abroad; provide a source of cheap Bibles and tracts; open and support Day-Schools and Sunday-Schools for adults and children. The Orphan Homes were to become a fifth objective of SKI.

Now, nearly two centuries later, the work continues to flourish. We currently support around 160 individuals and organisations, some of which are orphanages – we now help to support more than twice as many orphans worldwide than we did during the hey-day of Ashley Down. We send, on average, £105,000 every month around the world to further the Gospel and help take care of the needy.Find out more...

1835

Led to start an orphanage...

...The worsening cholera epidemic and the increasing number of orphaned children who were forced into the workhouse or to live on the streets caused George Müller to realise immediate action was required. In 1835 he called a public meeting with a view to opening an Orphan Home.

This was a complete step in faith, and four days before the meeting, God confirmed that step through the Scripture - ‘Open wide your mouth and I will fill it’ (Psalm 81 verse 10). When Müller started the Children’s Homes his primary objective was not the welfare of the children. His main concern was that it should be seen that God was providing all the needs as a result of prayer and faith, without anyone being asked or approached.

1836

First home opened on Wilson Street, Bristol...

...The first home opened on 21st April 1836. George Müller had asked God for £1,000 and the right people to run such a home. Within five months these had been provided. Mrs Müller, together with friends, furnished their own home in Wilson Street in the St Paul’s area of Bristol, which was to accommodate thirty girls. In October, George Müller rented 1 Wilson Street for infant boys and girls.

1837

Third Wilson Street home opened...

... By 18th May there were 64 children under the care of George Müller in the heart of the city of Bristol. George Müller rented 3 Wilson Street to accommodate boys aged 7 years and above.

The story is told, by one of the orphan girls present at the time, of the day when all the children were led into the dining room for breakfast – but there was absolutely no food in the house. Find out more...

1845

Complaint from neighbours...

... A fourth home had been opened, meaning up to 130 orphans were being housed in Wilson Street. The number of applications for places was also increasing. On the 30th October he received a letter of complaint from the neighbours.

1846

Bought land at Ashley Down...

... Following a complaint from the neighbours, George Müller felt led through prayer to purchase land to build a new home. This would allow for more orphans to be accommodated, a bigger place for the children to play, and land that could be worked by the older boys.

This project required a massive sum of £10,000. Once more Müller’s prayers were answered as the additional money was provided and he bought a rural site at Ashley Down, just outside the city’s boundary, well below the advertised asking price.

1847

Building started on Ashley Down...

... The architect commissioned to draw up the plans asked if he might do so free of charge.

George Müller did not allow the work to start on building the home until he had all of the money to complete the project. He never went into debt and he never took a loan.

1849

Number 1 House Completed, Ashley Down...

... In 1849 the first Home was opened, accommodating 300 children. The children slept in dormitories.

1851

Decided to Expand...

... In May, George Müller made the decision to expand as there were 78 children on the waiting list. Again, he didn’t start the project until he had enough money to complete it.

Each orphan house had an infirmary to care for the children if they became ill.

1854

Work started on the second orphan house after all of the necessary funds had been received. George Müller never asked anyone for money, instead he prayed to God asking him to provide all of his needs. The work on Number 2 House was completed in 1857. Find out more...

1858

Expanded again as work began on house number three...

... There was still a large number of orphaned children who weren’t being cared for and, with a steady stream of applications, George Müller decided to build a third home.

Each house had its own dining room in which the children ate.

1861

Expanded again...

... George Müller decided to expand to accommodate 2,000 orphaned children. This required acquiring further land and the building of two more houses.

The homes produced a lot of dirty laundry which was all done onsite.

1862

Number 3 House completed...

... Orphan house number 3 was completed meaning a further 450 orphan children could be housed. Capacity was now 1,150 children.

A further 450 orphans were accommodated in Orphan House number 4 which was completed in 1868. Now 1600 orphans were being cared for at Ashley Down.

1870

House Number 5 completed...

... The fifth house was finally complete two years after House 4. Ashley Down now housed up to 2050 children. All of the orphans who attended the homes were given a good education and set up for leaving the homes when they became of age. Boys were released around age 14 to become apprentices. The girls stayed until age 17, helping with the younger children and then being released into service.

George Müller’s wife Mary died on the 6th February of 1870. James Wright was appointed assistant and successor to George Müller

1871

Two weddings...

... James Wright and Lydia, George Müller’s daughter, got married and George Müller married again to Susannah.

1875

Travelled over 200,000 miles over a period of 17 years of missionary travel, addressing more than 3 million people...

... At the age of 70, George Müller decided to devote the next period of his life to a world-wide ministry of preaching and teaching, sharing his Christian faith. Leaving the orphan homes under the direction of his daughter Lydia and her husband, James Wright, he spent the next 17 years travelling, during which he toured the United States of America four times, India twice and, on two further occasions, toured Australia and the Colonies. In addition, George Müller preached in 42 countries, including China and Japan.

The Captain of The Sardinian, a vessel Müller used for one of his journeys, tells of an encounter with Fog and George Müller. Find out more...

From 1875 to 1892 Müller was almost constantly engaged on missionary preaching journeys. Throughout his Christian life he always set out his aims and objectives before embarking upon God’s work and this new area was no exception. Müller wanted to share with a wider audience the truths he had discovered about God. Further, he desired to encourage Christians to become lovers of the Bible and test everything by the Word of God. Another of his aims was to break down the barriers of denominationalism and to promote, as he put it, ‘brotherly love amongst Christians.”

1894

Susannah died...

... George Müller’s second wife died on 13 January. His daughter Lydia had died a few years earlier in 1890, leaving George as the last surviving member of his immediate family.

1898

George Muller died in Bristol on 10th March...

... His funeral procession brought much of Bristol to a standstill. Here was a great man of faith whose influence had been so evident in his adopted city of Bristol, but also a man whose work and life had been a challenge to countless people worldwide.